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Case no.

126
Spouses Chambon v. Atty. Christopher Ruiz - A.C. No. 11478

Facts: Spouses Chambon were creditors of Suzette Camasura Auman, also known as Mrs. Suzette
Camasura Remoreras (Remoreras). To secure her obligation, Remoreras executed a real estate mortgage.
As Remoreras failed to pay her loan obligation, Spouses Chambon were prompted to institute an extra-
judicial foreclosure proceedings.

Counsel for Spouses Chambon learned that the Regional Trial Court of Mandaue City issued an
Order, which directed the issuance of a new Owner's Duplicate Copy of TCT No. 29490. Apparently, a
Petition for Issuance of a new Owner's Duplicate Copy of TCT No. 29490, which was grounded on an
alleged Notice of Loss/Affidavit of Loss of the subject title, was filed by Remoreras.

Spouses Chambon discovered that the Notice of Loss/ Affidavit of Loss and the Release of
Mortgage were notarized by Atty. Ruiz. In the jurat of said Notice, there was no competent evidence of
identity of the executor. Also, in said Release, Spouses Chambon denied having executed the same.

In his Answer, the respondent denied the existence and notarization of the Release of Mortgage.
As to the Notice of Loss/Affidavit of Loss, he admitted its existence and its entry in the Notarial Register.
However, he imputed negligence on the part of his secretary as regards certain lapses in his Notarial
Register.

ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Ruiz violated the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice.

HELD: Yes. We find that the respondent failed to live up with the duties of a notary public as dictated by
the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice. For one, the jurat was incomplete in that the competent proof of
identity of the executor, Remoreras, was left in blank. Also, reference to the Notarial Register indicates
that the entries pertaining to said Notice were also left in blank. The title/description of instrument, name
and addresses of parties, competent evidence of identity, date and time of notarization, and type of
notarial act were not filled up.

In this case, the respondent affixed his signature and seal on the notarial certificate without
verifying the identity of the executor. Such was inferred from the fact that the competent proof of such
executor's identity was left in blank. Hence, his act of signing the notarial certificate, notwithstanding the
fact that it was incomplete, is a clear violation of the said Rules. No allegation as well that Remoreras is
personally known to the respondent to dispense with the presentation of a competent evidence of
identity.

Here, it is undisputed that the respondent's Notarial Register did not bear the details pertaining
to said Notice of Loss/Affidavit of Loss. To exculpate himself from liability, he attributed negligence and
omission on the part of his secretary who prepared the same. On this note, We reiterate that a notary
public is personally accountable for all entries in his notarial register. He cannot relieve himself of this
responsibility by passing the buck to his secretary.

As to the second subject document, i.e., Release of Mortgage, the respondent denied having
notarized the same. He averred that reference to the book number, document number, and page number
of the such alleged Release points to a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) in his Notarial Register. The
respondent admitted that while an SP A is indicated therein, it was actually a Deed of Absolute Sale, which
he actually notarized. Such inadvertence was also blamed to his office secretary.

WHEREFORE, the instant complaint is GRANTED. Respondent Atty. Christopher S. Ruiz is


found GUILTY of violating the 2004 Rules on Notarial Practice. Accordingly, We hereby
REVOKE his notarial commission and PERPETUALLY DISQUALIFY him from being a notary
public. Atty. Ruiz is also SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of one (1) year,
effective immediately. He is STERNLY WARNED that repetition of the same will be dealt with
more severely.